Two years ago, I raised concerns about automation and robotics in the article I wrote called the Pros and Cons of automation and robotics.
I must not be a very convincing speaker about these issues though, because both friends and family members reject my thoughts, even though I work in the technology field. So my next few article will be my thoughts on these areas, and why it’s has me very concerned.
In that past, we had machines with roots in the industrial age that would enable a person to work both more quickly and with less human physical labor required. These were simple machines that really didn’t have any intelligence and usually required a human to operate them. Slowly over the ages though, machines evolved into smarter devices, but most were still very singularly focused on a give task and still required a human controller.
But now computing power and robotics are at a state where things can be totally automated without a human operation. Looks at what is over the horizon, we have technology like self driving cars, and an A.I. “Collective” Doctor (think IBM Watson). With the IBM product, not even the most intelligent professions are safe, now more thank just car factory workers need to worry too.
The IBM Watson product kind of reminds me of the Star Trek’s Borg entity. Actually Siri, Google Now and Cortana all are Borg-like. One product that does appeal to me is the Amazon’s Jarvis-like product called “Amazon Echo” (but called Alexa). Actually Alexa is really more Borg-like than Jarvis-like. Plus, wouldn’t it be pretty easy for Alexa to collect information about you? For this reason, Amazon Echo is cool, but creepy at the same time.
There are many real automation and A.I. products since I wrote my automation article two years ago, for instance, robotic security units that patrol areas and continually record activity for that area. While these units aren’t armed yet with tasers, that would seem to be the next step if it’s not illegal already.
You see, the difference between the past and the intelligent machines of today (and the near future) is the fact that today’s machines are intelligent and getting more intelligent all the time. So the industrial-age machines were tools that required human, but the intelligence machines of today do not necessarily need a human operator to make it work.
Based on what I wrote so far, you’d think that I might have a pretty negative outlook on technology, but I really don’t and I’ll present my views on how this technology could play out in the next few articles.
The future will be dynamic and exciting either way,